The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Manchester City has moved ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign attacking midfielder Eden Hazard, who is valued at 30 million pounds ($48.6 million) by his French club Lille, the Daily Telegraph reported.
City’s readiness to offer Hazard regular games is said to be swaying the 21-year-old toward a move to the Etihad Stadium, the Telegraph said. The Blues’ greater spending power and willingness to pay higher wages may probably boost their chances of beating United to sign Hazard, the newspaper added.
Tottenham Hotspur may offer Mexican forward Giovani dos Santos to Lille in an attempt to sign Hazard, the Daily Mail reported.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp remains keen to sign Hazard even though both Manchester clubs had him watched in Lille’s 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain two days ago, the Mirror said.
Arsene Wenger has targeted Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen as Arsenal’s next signing after the Gunners agreed yesterday to sign German international striker Lukas Podolski for an undisclosed fee, the Daily Mirror reported.
Vertonghen, a Belgian international, may be available for 7 million pounds because he only has one year remaining on his contract, the Mirror said. Wenger is also chasing Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, the newspaper added.
Hughton for Hodgson?
Birmingham manager Chris Hughton is West Bromwich Albion’s top target to replace Roy Hodgson, who is set to be appointed as England manager, the Sun reported. West Brom will move for Portsmouth’s Michael Appleton if Hodgson takes the England job, the Daily Express said.
Redknapp Rush Over
Tottenham may leave Redknapp in contract limbo because the club is no longer in a rush for him to sign a new deal after he was snubbed by England, the Sun reported.
Redknapp, who had been the bookmakers’ favorite to get the national job, may go into the final year of his agreement “surrounded by uncertainty” because Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy is no longer hurrying to offer new terms, the newspaper said.